NaBloPoMo and Election Day for Me

October slipped by me.

It’s not that I had nothing to write about because I did. Lots of stuff.  But I just couldn’t motivate myself after doing all that blog-worthy stuff to write about it. I’ve been thinking about that for the last few days and decided that I would throw my hat in to the ring and do NaBloPoMo again. Like with knitting or exercising, it does help motivate me to have a specific challenge, and so, even though I said “never again” when I did this 4 years ago on my old blog, here I am ready to blog my heart out in November. Never say never, right?

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The reason I know it was 4 years ago that I last did NaBloPoMo is because I remember that at least one of my posts was about the presidential election in 2008. Since we are nearing the end of this election, I thought I’d start there….

I love voting. I do. I always have. I remember in first grade proudly casting my ballot in my elementary school’s mock-election. My candidate didn’t win that mock-election and I remember crying on the bus on the way home. I never cried about another election until the Bush v. Gore debacle in 2000 and it was after that year that I got more involved and knocking on doors, working at events, and making phone calls for campaigns because I wanted to be able to do more than just casting my vote to help the candidates I believed in.

Most of that isn’t possible for me this year because we are living in Canada, but one of the first things I set about finding out once we were settled was how we were supposed to vote from here. It was confusing at first because none of the websites I found had really visible links to information about voting from abroad. I finally just sent a private message to the Colorado Democrats on Facebook of all places and told them I needed to know how to vote from Canada and Voila!  Easy Peasy!

They sent me a link and said all I needed to do was confirm my registration in Colorado and change my address on their voter registration website. Apparently, when you vote from abroad, you vote from the last address you had or were registered at in the US, so Ken and I were still Colorado voters! Yay!  Swing state voters still!

I was so excited when both of our ballots finally arrived! Almost like Christmas…only without the singing.

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We filled them out and signed them and sent them off at the post office here in Calgary and it was…anticlimactic. Almost disappointing really. Voting still makes me feel proud, but it isn’t quite the same when you don’t stand in line and actually cast that ballot on election day. I know it makes me weird, but I kind of like standing in that line waiting for my turn to participate in our democracy by casting my vote.

I voted early in 2008, so this isn’t the first time I didn’t vote on the first Tuesday of November, but that year, I was able to feel more a part of things by knocking on doors to get out the vote on election day. I can’t do that this year, so I am signing up to make phone calls to encourage others to get out there and vote. For women and minorities and even for men who aren’t wealthy, this isn’t a right we can take for granted. And if we do, there are other rights we may not have for much longer.

I won’t get political on you, though I don’t think it’s a big secret who I’m voting for, but I will ask you to go vote, if you haven’t already. So many in our country’s history weren’t able to and so many around the world, particularly women, are still not afforded this right. Don’t take that for granted. Go vote.

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